Any Excuse

to extend an “emergency” in order to continue Government’s expanded powers and reduced individual liberties, an expansion that depends on that continued emergency. Here’s the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics in a letter to President Joe Biden (D) and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (D):

…unprecedented levels of RSV happening with growing flu rates, ongoing high numbers of children in mental health crisis and serious workforce shortages are combining to stretch pediatric care capacity at the hospital and community level to the breaking point[.]

Your ongoing response to COVID-19 has successfully supported strategies to mitigate the impact of health care capacity issues for adult patients. Please take this action to allow these same strategies to be employed in service of our nation’s children.

Progressive-Democrat Lies

These two are especially egregious in this final runup to voting in two weeks.

The first is by Joe Biden, our Progressive-Democrat President:

The most common price of gas in America is $3.39, down from over five dollars when I took office[.]

No, the most common price of gas in America as of the week ending January 25, 2021, the week Biden was inaugurated, was $2.39 [hit the full history XLS link for “U.S. Regular Gasoline Prices*(dollars per gallon)”, and select Data 3 in the resulting spreadsheet]. (Lots of good data on the US Energy Information Administration site.) Biden knows the actual price of gasoline, both then and now.

Why We Can’t Trust the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s primary advisory panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, has voted unanimously to recommend routine Wuhan Virus (my term) vaccinations for children via the Vaccines for Children program, which pays for ACIP-recommended vaccines for children in low-income families. This likely will lead to green-lighting schools—especially teachers union-controlled schools—to require the vaccinations as a condition of enrolling.

It doesn’t matter that the vaccines aren’t FDA-approved for children under 12.

It doesn’t matter that children well into junior high age aren’t at risk from the virus beyond—perhaps—getting mildly ill and recovering in a day or two.

Right Idea, but…

…details in the implementation will matter, also. Competition always drives costs to a level approaching the cost of production, and that’s to the good, not only of consumers but for competitors and others looking to enter the market, as well.

However.

On Monday, [Congresswoman and MD Mariannette (R, IA)] Miller-Meeks along with three of her colleagues introduced a bill titled the “Biologics Competition Act,” which seeks “to evaluate the process by which interchangeable biological products are approved to be used in pharmaceuticals.”
“So in essence, what we’re trying to get is biosimilar drugs that are the same chemically—that they have an equivalency to let those be prescribed as generic drugs, which would bring down the cost of medication[.]”

Rearranging the Furniture

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky now claims she’s going to reorganize the CDC after saying that her agency did not reliably meet expectations during the course of the Wuhan Virus Situation.

The changes will include elevating the laboratory division to report to the CDC’s director and restructuring the communications office….

Because the CDC needs to do a better job of selling its claims. And this bit:

shift the CDC’s culture from highly academic to focus more on preparedness and response

And

Dr Walensky also wants additional funding and more authority for the CDC on matters including mandating data collection from states….

And to Reduce Development of New Drugs

The Wall Street Journal headline reads Democrats Vote to Raise Drug Prices. That’s in response to the Senate Progressive-Democratic Party’s unilateral vote to pass President Joe Biden’s (D) Build Reduced Back Act last Sunday. Included in that bill is a capability for Medicare to “negotiate” the prices on a select list of drugs. Negotiate: accept Medicare’s offer or pay a 95% tax on revenues. Nice drug you got there….

This is one inevitable result:

If drug makers must give Medicare steep discounts on certain drugs, they will compensate by increasing prices in the commercial market.

Progressive-Democratic Party Newspeak Dictionary

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) has a new entry. While using her authority to line-item veto $21 million she says was allocated for “anti-choice” programs.

Anti-choice: what she vetoed was this:

$10 million for marketing programs about adoption, $2 million in tax credits for adoptive parents, $3 million for a “maternal navigator pilot program,” $1.5 million for pregnancy resource centers and $700,000 for a nonprofit pregnancy center.

She claims her veto was based on the pregnancy crisis centers spread disinformation and withhold other information. These are plainly bogus beefs.

Instead, Whitmer is claiming that giving women options regarding their pregnancies is anti-choice.

A Performance Principle

Norway, it turns out, did really well as a nation during the recent Wuhan Virus Situation.

Not long ago, the World Health Organization published mortality stats from the past two years, which showed that nearly every country’s excess death count spiked during the pandemic. Norway’s barely moved. The Norwegians had pulled off the closest thing possible to an optimal response to the most vexing problems that Covid-19 presented.

Vaccine Efficacy

An Imperial College of London study of the efficacy of the various Wuhan Virus vaccines, led by Oliver Watson, indicates that around the world, 20 million lives were saved in the first year of the vaccines’ availability. In the US, according to the study, some 1.9 million lives were saved by the vaccines.

Using data from worldometer‘s Coronavirus Web site, that works out to a bit over 2% additional lives saved given a case (not given an actual infection) in the US, which is a good improvement, especially for those 2%. But it’s also only a 2% improvement, and it comes against an already low mortality rate for the virus, other than for those with serious comorbidities and/or who are older than 85-ish.

Elites are Talking Again

This time, it’s in the context of the Wuhan Virus and its latest evolution, and the elites are triggered by

The nearly 300 deaths reported daily are again more concentrated among older people, underscoring hazards for the more vulnerable while the overall population appears less at risk.

With oblivious self-importance, Katelyn Jetelina, Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (such a long title…), pronounced that

It’s really up to us to determine where in this repertoire of things that can kill us we want to place SARS-CoV-2[.]